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How to Turn Into a Tree When You Die

How to Turn Into a Tree When You Die

Want to give back to the earth when you pass? Here’s an amazing new option sidestepping traditional cremation and burial — both of which take their toll on our environment. A funerary urn made from biodegradable materials can turn your remains into a tree after you die. Each urn contains a tree seed and is ready to plant, growing into your favorite tree — Ginko, Maple, Oak, Ash or Beech.

Two Part Urn

These urns generally consist of two parts: The top part is a sealed unit that contains pro-growth soil to ensure the seed remains healthy until it begins to sprout; the lower capsule stores the ashes of your dearly departed. Both compartments are kept separate until the urn biodegrades into the planted soil. The quantity of ashes placed in the urn won’t upset the delicate nutrient balance required for the tree’s growth. Ash is good for soil and potassium has been known to encourage the growth of plants and trees. Before burying the urn, you’ll need to add some soil native to where you want to plant the tree to ensure proper seed germination. The tree initially grows in the top part. Once the urn begins to degrade, the entire container becomes part of the sub-soil and fertilizer for the tree.

Buy Now, Plant Later

Available for both people and pets, these urns can be purchased years ahead of their use. The materials stay “active” as long as they remain in a relatively cool environment—below 90°F and at relative humidities of 60 percent or more. Typically, they can be planted wherever it’s legal to plant a tree—even your backyard. Some burial sites and cemeteries work with Parks and Forestry authorities to allow these urns to planted along trails or in parks where trees are protected.

Lower Carbon Footprint

While cremation does require energy, the total carbon footprint still favors cremation and via biodegradable urn. That’s because in its lifetime, a tree will purify the air for years, even decades to make up for the offset. According to Be a Tree, this offers better overall land stewardship for those opting for cremation.

image credit: Bios Urn

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Alex A. Kecskes

As owner/president of AK CreativeWorks, Alex A. Kecskes is a national award-winning writer/blogger/journalist who has written over 2,000 published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, careers, consumer tech, arts/entertainment and many other topics. He also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Follow Alex on twitter at


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3:50AM PST on Mar 7, 2015


6:22PM PST on Mar 4, 2015


2:24AM PDT on Oct 14, 2014

Live long & prosper

12:35AM PDT on Oct 13, 2014

Thank you!

10:48AM PDT on Oct 12, 2014

love this idea!

12:49AM PDT on Sep 30, 2014

Thank you!

9:10AM PDT on Sep 18, 2014

I like the idea too and think this might be the way I would like to be recycled.

5:21AM PDT on Sep 18, 2014

I like this idea. I was planning on being cremated anyway; this seems more desirable to me.

8:32PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

Wow. Another option to consider. I think I may be changing my mind...again.

10:45AM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

In the UK there are rules about how you must bury bodies. The natural way is near the surface where biodegredation takes place and the body feeds the soil . The law says you must bury much deeper where putrefaction takes place - ugh However there is a big rise in the number of green funerals which supply biodegradable coffins (instead of chopping down more lovely oaks for a fancy wooden one) and also in woodland burials. There is also a new system whereby you are quick frozen and then literally shattered into dust. It is called promession - look it up - it could save the world

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